Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cuts, Chaos, and Cold: More Lessons Learned

Well. The past few days have been...interesting, to say the least.

Sunday I wrote a post about feeling kinda low, and wishing I had a car. Little did I know that my day was just going to get better.  And by that, I mean that my day was decidedly not getting any better. Around 8 o'clock that evening, Malcolm fell and split his chin. So, there we were, with no car, no insurance, and a kid who needed stitches. <sigh> I started to panic about how to get him to the hospital (no urgent cares in town), because I knew how far away it was (about 5.5 miles), and I also knew that we were on the last day of NO Sunday bus service (starts back up this coming weekend). Don started checking out a route, wondering if he could put Malcolm in the Bakfiets and take him, but that option was quickly vetoed: too bumpy, too far, too dark. I first went up to the neighbors' apartment to see if they could drive us, but they didn't answer the door (turns out they didn't hear me knocking).  Then I started calling cab services in town...which apparently only have one cab each or something, because each of them was "all booked up" for at least a half hour. I checked with the neighbor again after reserving a cab, and they jumped to the rescue! Cancelled the cab and got on our way.  Lesson learned: always have a back-up plan. Unfortunately for me, my back-up plan WAS the cab, but I had never fully checked out cab companies ahead of time...which means, no back-up plan. Yeesh. (Malcolm is fine by the way. Five stitches and a battle wound to brag about, so he's just peachy.)

So...on to the start of this week. Orientation for school started yesterday, so this is really the test week for my biking habits. Yesterday went pretty well, but I didn't have to be to school until 11am, so that left me plenty of time to get situated. I decided to test my electric assist's ability to keep me from getting sweaty, and it worked wonderfully. I think I only pedaled about 12 times total between the apartment and school, which is great for being presentable, but bad for exercise. (I'll have to figure out that balance in the future.) I arrived early (as intended) and dropped off all my extra stuff in my office and headed on my way. This is what happens on a well-planned day.

Now let me tell you what happens on a poorly-planned day.

Today's orientation started at 8am, which means that if I wanted to get all my stuff to my office so I didn't have to lug it around, I would have needed to get to school by 7:40. Didn't happen. First of all, the problems started last night, as I was overwhelmed by the long day of orientation, as well as a little tired and disorganized from doing a bunch of stuff around the apartment after I got home. So...I didn't even climb into bed until around midnight, at which point I realized I had missed a call and had a voice mail. Checking it revealed that I had inadvertently shipped all of my textbooks for the semester to my old address in Toledo instead of to our new address here in Blacksburg. Of course, I handled this with grace and calm, drifting off to sleep with the knowledge that I would handle things in the morning.

Yeah, right.

I went into full-on panic mode. I checked the shipping notifications and discovered the purchase had been split into four different shipments, all arriving at different times. Fantastic. Luckily, I was able to contact my brother-in-law via text message, and he agreed to pick up the packages and ship them back out to me. (Thanks Mike!) Unfortunately, the amount of money I will have to pay in shipping will negate the savings of buying the textbooks from Amazon in the first place. Bah.

So...the point of all of that is that I didn't fall asleep finally until around 1am; so when my alarm went off at 6:15am this morning, I couldn't figure out for the life of me why I would have set it so early. So, naturally I hit "snooze." Twice. (Three times?) Finally, I dragged my butt out of bed only to see that it was around 50 degrees outside. And foggy. So, already running late, I had to figure out a backup plan for my cropped-sleeve shirt/shorts option, because that definitely wasn't going to work for the ride in. I quickly grabbed some warmer clothes, stuffed the cooler clothes in my bag, and headed out the door (without having eaten breakfast, I might add).

I probably wouldn't have been running as late if I had not stopped to take this picture.
The bright side of this unplanned chaos: more lessons learned!

Lesson...Five?: Even if you are dressed warmly, you need gloves; otherwise, your fingers will turn into icy little good-for-nothings during your ride. (Also, if you're not wearing said gloves, you'll find yourself debating between being late and being cold, as a slower speed provides a much "warmer" ride.)

Lesson Let's-Go-With-Six: When you're wearing glasses because you can't put your contacts in because your eyes hurt too bad because you didn't get enough sleep...they fog up. A lot. Which means you have to stop every quarter mile or so to clean them off. This also causes a conflict with timeliness, as you find yourself debating between "being on time" and "not wanting to crash." I opted for not crashing, but somehow still managed to make it to orientation on time - hungry, cold, and bogged down with too much bag weight - but on time.

The silver lining in all of this?  I got to wear my scarf! (several of my friends just burst out laughing) Those of you who know me know I have a slight scarf obsession (24 and counting), and that I was disappointed at the prospect of living in a warmer climate because it might make the scarves not as...prudent. But seriously, the first thought that popped into my head when I realized I would need warmer clothes was "I can wear a scarf!" And that brought me great happiness. It worked out well, really, because it kept my neck warm, which I imagine would have been another issue I would have otherwise complained about. So, maybe we can add that as...

Lesson It-Must-Be-Seven: Scarves are your friend. I already knew this, but..now you do too.

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